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5 from 3 votes

Tomato Basil Pasta {Cheesecake Factory}

This Cheesecake Factory tomato basil pasta recipe is a copycat version of an oh-so-good favorite! Pasta in a tangy tomato sauce, get's finished with a fresh and bright basil oil, tender chicken and of course fresh mozzarella!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 431kcal
Author: Sunena Anand

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Penne Pasta

For the Chicken

  • 6 Chicken breast cutlets boneless & skinless
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 5 cloves Garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Dried mustard
  • Salt to taste

For the Basil Oil

For the Sauce

  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups Grape tomatoes whole
  • 3 cloves Garlic peeled & whole
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli flakes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups Pasta water
  • 1 ball Fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  • Add the chicken breast cutlets into a freezer bag. Top with the ingredients for the chicken marinade, seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken, and let the chicken sit in the marinade for 10-15 minutes.
    6 Chicken breast cutlets, ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil, 1 lemon, 5 cloves Garlic, 1 teaspoon Dried oregano, 1 tablespoon Dried mustard, Salt to taste
  • While the chicken is marinating, add the fresh basil, olive oil, salt and garlic powder into a blender or food processor. Blend until the basil has broken down and mixed with the oil. Set aside.
    ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoon Sea salt, 2 teaspoon Garlic powder, 1 cup Fresh basil
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water once it is boiling, and add the pasta. Boil until the pasta is al dente - this should take approximately 10-11 minutes. Before draining, reserve 1 ½ cups of pasta water. Drain, and set the pasta aside.
    12 oz Penne Pasta
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet, and sear on each side for approximately 5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your cutlets. The chicken should read 165°F internally on a meat thermometer. Once the chicken is seared and cooked through, remove from the skillet and let the chicken rest. Once the chicken has rested, slice into strips.
  • Remove any excessive burnt bits from the skillet, and add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet, and let them brown and allow the skins to lightly burst. Once the skins have started to burst, add the whole garlic cloves, salt and red chilli flakes, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
    ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil, 3 cups Grape tomatoes, 3 cloves Garlic, Sea salt to taste, 1 teaspoon Red chilli flakes
  • Mix in the tomato paste with the tomatoes and garlic, and add half of the reserved pasta water. Stir together until the tomato paste has mixed in with the pasta water, and cover the skillet with a lid. Turn the heat to medium-low, and let the tomatoes soften for 5 minutes.
    1 tablespoon Tomato paste, 1 ½ cups Pasta water
  • Remove the lid after 5 minutes, and press down lightly on the tomatoes to smash them into the sauce. Add the pasta to the skillet. Top with the remaining pasta water, and toss the pasta with the sauce. Top with the sliced chicken, and drizzle with the basil oil. Tear fresh mozzarella over the pasta, and serve.
    1 ball Fresh mozzarella, 1 ½ cups Pasta water

Notes

  • Use up your tomatoes that are starting to wrinkle! This sauce is a fantastic way to use up produce that is starting to look a little sad. You won’t even notice, in this sauce!
  • Feel free to grill, air fry or bake the chicken! You do not have to sear the chicken in the pan. Cook it using your preferred method, or even prepare this chicken in bulk for the week and use it for multiple recipes.
  • Give your tomatoes time to soften! You do not want to rush this step while making the sauce. Once the tomatoes are soft, they will meld into a sauce on their own.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 708mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 604IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg